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This is a reprint of the fourth of a six part Senior Bowl series I did in January.  Hopefully this will be helpful as you are going thru your rookie and dynasty drafts.

As I am told, this will be the final day that the media can view practices. The players are back to shells and helmets mostly running plays at half speed.  Because there is not a lot more to gleam here, I will spend the majority of my time in thisgarop article reviewing and ranking these offensive players by their position.


1) Derek Carr, Fresno State
Carr is the most polished the quarterbacks.  He has good footwork, throws balanced, and got more comfortable hitting his receivers in stride as the week went along.  The signal caller has the necessary arm strength to make all the throws and plays like a leader out there.  He did nothing here to hurt himself and is probably going to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.  For us dynasty owners, I would not consider him until the late second or early third in fantasy rookie drafts.

2) Jimmy Garoppolo, East Illinois
Wow what a two week whirlwind, first the young quarterback had to learn a new system for the Shrine Game and was a replacement option for Alabama’s own AJ McCarron.  Garoppolo is not a terrific athlete, but he steps up in the pocket and throws accurately.  He gets better every day and should make a good developmental NFL and fantasy quarterback.

3) Tajh Boyd, Clemson
It was clear from the first practice on that Boyd got a lot of help from the talented skill players he got the chance to play with at Clemson.  He has a strong enough arm and good pocket awareness, but prefers to throw shorter passes.  Many people consider him as a Russell Wilson-lite.  I am not as convinced, but he is worth picking up for depth in dynasty leagues.

Running backs

1) Charles Sims, West Virginia
Sims was the most complete running back here in Mobile.  He has quick feet, good vision, and reads blocks well getting small in the hole.  The back looked fine in pass blocking drills and catches the ball cleanly.  Sims has a little wiggle to his game and was the most explosive back by far.  Depending on where he goes, Sims might be a late first round rookie draft back.

2) David Fluellen, Toledo
He is a more north and south runner than Sims, but has even better hands.  Fluellen reminds me a bit of Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush as he is a bigger back who tries to run like a smaller guy.  The back fights for extra yardage and has a burst once he clears the line of scrimmage.   I would be looking to add him to my dynasty squad in the middle to late second round of rookie drafts.

3) Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky
If you like Bobby Rainey, this back is even better than he is. Andrews has good vision, steps up to take on pass rushers and does not give up on the block.  He is quicker than fast, has loose hips, and catches the ball well.  Owners that draft him will need to be patient as he might start as an RB4/returner to start his NFL carrier.  I’m not sure he is draftable in leagues that have rosters of under 25 players.

Wide receivers

1) Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Matthews is the best skill player at this game, by far, but hasn’t always played up to expectations.  He has exceptional quickness getting in an out of breaks, tracks the ball well in the air, and can contort to make difficult catches.  The receiver can be disrupted by physical corners that spend a little time in his head.  Matthews gets to the ball at its highest point and can make defenders miss him in the open field.  He catches the ball cleanly, usually in stride.  The wide out has good size at 6′ 2″ 209 lbs., but is not a huge receiver so he may slide down both NFL and dynasty rookie drafts into the late first or early second round.

2) Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
He was the most technically sound receiver here, bar none.  The only time he didn’t catch the ball cleanly was on an onside kickoff drill.  Abbrederis is not the biggest guy here, nor is he the fastest, but he was magic finding open space and getting to the ball.  He makes plays in traffic with guys hung all over him.  I think he will be a better slot receiver, but he can play outside.  With all the talent at wide receiver, Abbrederis should have huge value in the second round of your rookie drafts.  He did suffer a knee injury and should be considered as questionable for the game on Saturday.

3) Robert Herron, Wyoming
The powerfully built wide out got better every single day.  He started off the practices slowly, but adjusted his technique and concentration to be pushing Abbrederis as the second best receiver in Mobile.  Herron has the foot speed and jukes to get a clean release off the line, regardless if he lines up in the slot or outside.  The receiver can start and stop on a dime while needing zero time to blast past defenders at full speed.  He catches everything with his hands in stride and finds a way to come down with contested passes.  His size at 5′ 8″ 193 lbs. isn’t ideal, but he could be a great WR2 in a pass happy offense.  He had a long touchdown catch in the back of the end zone early in today’s practice.  Herron needs to be scooped up in the second round of your rookie drafts.

4) Josh Huff, Oregon
He catches the ball well with his hands as he does not let it get into his body.  Huff has fluid hips, and makes sharp cuts causing separation for him.  If the receiver needs to sky for the ball, he can get above most defenders and is willing to fight to come down with the reception. Huff always knows where he is on the field as he uses the sidelines well and can make the tippy toes catches to keep a drive going.  The wide out with probably start out in the slot, but could be a decent WR2 in a year or two.  I would look to acquire him in the late second to first half of the third round in rookie drafts with what he displayed here in Alabama.
5) Robert Herron, Tulane
The receiver makes crisp receptions, has good body control with soft hands.  He is not as explosive as the four receivers listed before him which takes him down a bit in my eyes.  Grant has a quick first step and if he sells his route short to the corner covering him, he can break loose deep as he demonstrated with a beautiful bucket catch.  With the glut of rookie wide receivers, Grant should be available in the third to fourth round of most rookie drafts.  Take him as a developmental guy.
6) Solomon Patton, Florida
He is undersized at 5′ 8″ and 179 lbs., but has loose hips and a quick first step that make him hard to track once he gets off the line.  The receiver tracks the ball well in the air and uses his balance to keep on his feet despite his diminutive size.  Patton runs crisp routes and would be ideal as a slot receiver.  He would be an asset in the return game as well because of his great vision and lateral agility.  The receiver might not be a good option in leagues that do not reward return yardage.
7) Kevin Norwood, Alabama
The local receiver keeps on improving each day.  He has quick feet and has a physical toughness that not every wide out his size has.  I like the way he plucks the ball out of the air and the clean routes he runs.  Norwood might take a year or two of seasoning before he becomes fantasy relevant, but is worth a late round pick.
Tight end
CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa
There were some injuries to the tight end position here in Mobile, but the one guy that has stood out is Fiedorowicz.  He catches the ball well with his hands and is athletic enough to maneuver around linebackers and stiffer defensive backs.  I compare him to a guy like Mercedes Lewis, the Jacksonville Jaguars tight end who is a better blocker than receiver.  He should be a successful on the line tight end who will be a solid, but unspectacular receiving option.  Fiedorowicz should be taken in the third to fourth round of rookie drafts.
Tomorrow I will be discussing the IDP players in more detail.
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